miércoles, 20 de mayo de 2015

May 20: In 1873, Levi Strauss and Jacob Davis received a patent on the Blue Jeans with copper rivets in terminal pockets to make them strong and long lasting.

Levi Strauss

In 1873, the German Jewish origin Levi Strauss received a patent for making the "blue jeans" with copper rivets.

These are five farmers standing in front of a load of logs in Ola, Idaho who are the first pair of jeans sewn by Levis Strauss.

Copper rivets gave strength to the pockets and pants stressful areas. On May 20, 1873, it became the official birthday of jeans.

The gold rush in California, since 1853, boosted demand for goods and services in general, but hard work clothes in particular.

A pair of vintage jeans c.1901-1922 from the Levi Strauss & Co. archives

In 1853, Levi Strauss, at the age of 24 years went to New York to San Francisco to open a clothing store and rough canvas fabrics. The Prefect of the area told Levi why he had not brought strong pants that will last the hard work of the miners.

Detail of a pair of vintage jeans 

Levi began to make rustic and very strong pants to meet the demand for miners with imported cloth from France called Serge, produced in Nîmes, France. Those pants were brown. Soon the name was shortened to "Denim". Levi Strauss developed an indigo dye, and new pants went blue.

Levi Strauss & Co. was the first company in history to produce jeans. In 1872, Jacob Davis, a tailor born into a Jewish family in Riga (Latvia), who would regularly purchased items to Levi, told him he had the disadvantage because the jean´s pockets were easily unstitched with the hard work of the gold mines.

Working class teen agers wwearing blue jeans

Both found a possible solution: reinforce the corners of the pockets with rivets.

Levi Strauss died at age 73 on 26 September 1902. His nephews inherit the business, which remains active to this day. In 2008, Levi Strauss closed its last factory in the US to move all its production to third world countries where labor is cheaper.